Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Chase County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Little Barn on the Prairie
Upon completion, ranch owner Stephen F. Jones learned that his barn was one of the largest barns in the state of Kansas at the time.
Like most of the buildings on the ranch, the Spring Hill barn was built of limestone -- the foundation of the Flint Hills prairie. Its three stories housed stalls, feed and grain storage for the large scale, year-round ranch operation. A team and wagon could enter the upper level by one of the ramps, unload, and easily turn around inside to exit.
The structure originally had a tin roof and a massive "double-header" windmill with 30 foot blades. By harnessing the ever-present energy of the prairie winds, the windmill was intended to power "a pair of corn burrs, a corn sheller, hay chopper, root cutter, and an oil-cake crusher", with the equivalent of a 12 horse-power engine. Reportedly, vibrations from ite enormous wingspan caused the windmill to be removed after only a few years.
"It will take 5,000 pounds of tin to cover the mammoth barn of S.F. Jones on Fox Creek, and the tinners are laying it on." Strong City Independent, December 24, 1881
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Agriculture. A significant historical date for this entry is December 24, 1881.
Location. 38° 26.02′ N, 96° 33.508′ W. Marker is in Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas, in Chase County. Marker is on the grounds of the former Spring Hill Ranch headquarters off Kansas Highway 177, about 2.5 miles north of Strong City. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Strong City KS 66869, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Prairie for the People (a few steps from this marker); Spring Hill Ranch (a few steps from this marker); Curious Outbuildings (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to the Prairie (within shouting distance of this marker); Vital Necessities (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Back to Basics (approx. half a mile away); W.B. Strong Memorial Railroad Park (approx. 2.9 miles away); Strong City (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Also see . . . Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. (Submitted on November 13, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 466 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 13, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.